… Africa, Australia (+ New Zealand) and Asia

Malaysia, My

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One thing is for sure for Malaysia – as it is for most of the places of the world that are running to catch the modernization train; don’t read old books about it before you go. You know it. It is not going to be like that. But in the same time the hidden hope is there. A pocket of resistance? Some good luck that will bring you closer to something authentic? Difficult. I had ruled out peninsular Malaysia knowing that it only has one national park. I did not want to visit Kuala Lumpur neither. Now they both seem reasons why I should have gone and not the opposite. Also I ruled out a friend’s invitation at Tioman island offering free accomodation for some days and of course if I had gone I would have enjoyed first-class diving. Instead I followed my instinct (or was it my knowledge?) and yelled out; Borneo here I come! Did I do good? Yes, I reckon… I always thought that all the places are worth visiting. The world is full of people that pay money for visiting a place and demand from this place to meet their expectations or else they complain. This is maybe exactly why Borneo has a limited future…

Now in Borneo I saw great difference between Sabah and Sarawak. I can now say that Sarawak is more to my liking. Kuching is a city with character. And with its Kelabit Highlands, Bario and the longhouse treks (of which I have done none) it still has some places untouched of the typical tourist hand. In Miri I sacrificed Mulu National Park for a sailing experience. I do not regret it. What I would have changed maybe would be the visit to Sabah. There I understood why they are separate states! They take their tourism industry very seriously – that much that they treat both travelers, tourists and anybody else the same. I did not like that. Overall if you want to visit Borneo (and you should) do yourself a favor and do it ASAP. The people are great and it is one of the safest places to be too. But I would suggest one thing. Do not support the big companies with your money – even if you have lots of it. Most of them are linked to “evil” organizations like logging and petrol companies. Borneo needs everything BUT those. I might be a dreamer, but traveling is a responsible thing. Borneo people are used to the bad type of tourist so try and be a good one 😉


Written by csm2mk

June 5, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Posted in Malaysia

Tagged with ,

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